Modernization efforts, 1931–1938

In 1931, Mustafa Kemal took the lead in establishing the Turkish Language Association for conducting research works in the Turkish language (Turkish: Türk Dil Kurumu). The establishment of the Turkish Historical Society (Turkish: Türk Tarih Kurumu) was archived in 1932 for conducting research works on the history of Turkey. He declared that the advancement of education called for the endeavors of the private sector and he urged Turkish society to take part in the effort.  On 1 January 1928, he established the Turkish Education Association. The Association became active in the field of education, supporting intelligent and hard-working children in financial need, as well as making material and scientific contributions to the educational life.
Atatürk visits the Istanbul University after its reorganization

In 1933, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ordered the reorganization of Istanbul University into a modern institution and later established Ankara University in the capital city.

Mustafa Kemal personally dealt with the translation of scientific terminology into Turkish.He wanted the Turkish language reform to be methodologically based. Any attempt to "cleanse" the Turkish language of foreign influence without modeling the integral structure of the language was inherently wrong to him. He personally oversaw the development of the Sun Language Theory (Turkish: Güneş Dil Teorisi), which was a linguistic theory which proposed that all human languages were descendants of one Central Asian primal language. His interest started with the works by the French scientist Hilaire de Barenton entitled L'Origine des Langues, des Religions et des Peuples, which postulates that all languages originated from hieroglyphs and cuneiform used by Sumerians, and the paper of Austrian linguist Dr. Hermann F. Kvergić of Vienna entitled "La psychologie de quelques elements des langues Turques" ("the psychology of some elements of the Turkic Languages"). He introduced the Sun Language Theory into Turkish political and educational circles in 1935. Nevertheless, after 1936, he saw the extremist aspects of this campaign and corrected them.
Atatürk at the library of Çankaya Presidential Residence in Ankara

Beginning in 1932, several hundred "People's Houses" (Turkish: Halk Evi) and "People's Rooms" (Halk Odası) across the country allowed greater access to a wide variety of artistic activities, sports, and other cultural events. The visual and the plastic arts, whose developers had, on occasion, been arrested by some Ottoman officials claiming that the depiction of the human form was idolatry, were now highly encouraged and supported by Atatürk. Many museums were opened, architecture began to follow modern trends, and classical Western music, opera, and ballet, as well as the theatre, also took greater hold. Book and magazine publications increased as well, and the film industry began to grow.
The original print of the first Quran in Turkish language ordered by Atatürk.

In 1932, a Qur'an in the Turkish language was read in front of the public. Mustafa Kemal wanted to "teach religion in Turkish to Turkish people [it was in Arabic], who had been practicing Islam without understanding it for centuries"There was a rare polyglot Qu'ran written in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Latin in the tetrapla style. This version of the Qu'ran was prepared by savant Andrea Acolutho of Bernstadt and printed at Berlin in 1701. In 1924, three Turkish translations published in Istanbul and created substantial controversy. Also several renderings of the Qur'an in the Turkish language were read in front of the public.These Turkish Qur'ans were fiercely opposed by religious people. This incident impelled many leading Muslim modernists to call upon the Turkish Parliament to sponsor a Qur'an translation of suitable quality. With the support of Mustafa Kemal, the Parliament approved the project and the Directorate of Religious Affairs enlisted, Mehmet Akif (Ersoy), to compose a Qur'an translation and a Islamic scholar Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır to author a Turkish language Qur'anic commentary (tafsir) titled "Hak Dini Kur'an Dili." It was only in 1935 that the version read in public found its way to print.Mustafa Kemal believed that the understanding of religion was too important to be left to a small group of people. This included the central religious text of Islam. Mustafa Kemal's objective was to make the Qu'ran accessible and modern. Arguments concentrate on the uniqueness of this translation when compared to the previous rare translations, besides being rare, if comprehended by common Turkish people as some used a variant of the Turkish language the Ottoman Turkish language.

In 1934, Mustafa Kemal commissioned the first Turkish operatic work, Özsoy. The opera, which was staged at the People's House in Ankara, was composed by Adnan Saygun and performed by soprano Semiha Berksoy.
Eighteen female MPs joined the Turkish Parliament with the 1935 general elections

On December 5, 1934, Turkey moved to grant full political rights to women. It was well before several other European nations. The equal rights of women in marriage had already been established in the earlier Turkish civil code. The place of women in Mustafa Kemal's cultural reforms was best expressed in the civic book which was prepared under his supervision. Mustafa Kemal said that
“     There is no logical explanation for the political disenfranchisement of women. Any hesitation and negative mentality on this subject is nothing more than a fading social phenomenon of the past. ...Women must have the right to vote and to be elected; because democracy dictates that, because there are interests that women must defend, and because there are social duties that women must perform.    ”

However, the change was not easy; in the 1935 elections there were only 18 female MPs out of a total of 395 representatives.

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